Definitions of many of the key terms in the knowledge transfer process vary. To ensure consistency, we have chosen to define the terms that we will be using in this chapter as follows: Knowledge transfer includes any effort to deliver knowledge to someone who wishes to or needs to receive it, including the publication of research for use by the scientific and practitioner communities. Knowledge transfer is a precursor to technology transfer, which involves the transfer of the results of basic and applied research to the design, development, and commercialization of new or improved products, tools, services, or processes. In both cases, the recipients of this transfer are called the audience; other names include clients, students, or customers, but in this chapter, we will use only the more inclusive term. Others with an interest in the outcomes of the knowledge transfer, whether or not they are themselves part of the audience, are called stakeholders.
The overall knowledge transfer process is sometimes referred to as extension, particularly when the organization responsible for this task is based at an American Land Grant University, whose mission goes beyond educating the university's students. When the knowledge or technology transfer is part of an organized approach, we have used the term program. A program is more than a specific activity; rather, it includes an assortment of activities, associated materials, and learning activities related to a specific topic or educational goal.
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